Promises, promises, promises
November 1, 2016
"I have people that have been studying [Obama's birth certificate] and they cannot believe what they're finding." Donald Trump, TODAY Show, April 7, 2011
Donald Trump has been making promises for decades. "Buy a luxury condo in Trump Tower Tampa!" "Invest in the recession-proof Trump Network (vitamins) and make big money!" "Attend Trump University, get rich in real estate!" Every one of these promises ended with consumers getting cheated, some by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Listen to Trump, lose your shirt.
There are many more examples, but you get the idea. In 2011, Trump decided on a new platform, jumping on the birther bandwagon, claiming President Obama wasn't born in the U.S. In March 2011, he complained, "Why doesn't he show his birth certificate?" Obama's birth certificate has been posted online since 2008.
Trump then asserted he had sent investigators to Hawaii to check into this. However, whenever he was asked what amazing information they had found, he refused to answer. As recently as Sept. 15, 2016, he promised, "I'll answer that question at the right time. I just don't want to answer it yet." On Sept. 16, Trump suddenly switched his position, said Obama was born here, and refused to say anything else. Years of promises ending with a whimper, like many of his companies.
In July 2015, Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he had documented evidence supporting his claims that Mexico was sending criminals over the border. When asked by a reporter to provide that documentation, he replied, "We'll be showing you the evidence." When pressed, he said it would be soon. As of this date, he has produced exactly zero evidence. Another Trump promise, empty of any facts.
Trump is also dealing with the immigration status of his wife, Melania, a former citizen of Slovenia. In 1995, she came to the U.S. to work as a model; her work visa wasn't issued until 1996. That means she was either here illegally, or she was here on a visitor's visa, which means she had no work visa and wasn't allowed to work. Either way, by working here in 1995, she was illegal.
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Both Trump and his wife have declared that she has "so much documentation" proving she was here legally. In early August, Trump promised that within two weeks, Melania would hold a press conference showing her documentation, proving she did nothing illegal. As of now, there's been no press conference and no documentation shown. Illegal immigration in the Trump household? Who knew?
On Oct. 7, 2016, audio tape was released of Trump bragging about the lewd and obscene things he enjoyed doing to women. On Oct. 9, at the second presidential debate, Trump denied doing any of those things. This denial was too much for several of his victims; women started coming forward to describe their personal experiences with Trump.
Trump claimed they were all lying. On Oct. 14, Trump's running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said on "CBS This Morning" that "…even before the day is out there will be more evidence publicly that shows and calls into questions these latest allegations…there's more information…that will back his claim that this is all categorically false." Well, Gov. Pence, we are still waiting. One more promise to provide actual evidence, one more lie.
The most serious promise Trump plans to break was the one he made at the first presidential debate when he was asked if he would accept the results on Election Day. Trump said, "If she wins, I will absolutely support her." Then, at the third debate, Trump broke that promise, saying, "I will look at it at the time…I will keep you in suspense." This is a serious breach of promise and a total disregard of American democracy.
On Oct. 20, Trump "clarified" his threat: "I would like to promise and pledge, to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win." And if he doesn't?
Trump has made his living making promises he couldn't keep. Trump stiffed thousands of employees and small business owners, and he's stiffing the American public. He's promised to release information and evidence over and over and has failed. He's promised to follow the Constitution and then backtracked. This character deficiency is one more reason he should never become president of the United States. Let's hope that on Nov. 8, American voters agree.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.